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October 25, 2012
NAVY'S first Canberra-class LHD has
arrived at its Australian home for the
next 18 months in Victoria.
The LHD is the largest ship ever
built for Navy and testimony to this
was the fact it was visible on the
horizon almost two hours before it
entered the port.
It is interesting to note the hull, to
be designated as HMAS Canberra,
sailed past its namesake, which is now
an artificial reef near the entrance to
The Rip at Ocean Grove.
More than 100 interested locals
braved a cold sea breeze between Point
Lonsdale and Queenscliff to welcome
the arrival on October 17.
Everyone from ex-Navy personnel
to enthusiasts and schoolchildren were
gathered on the foreshore to watch a
moment in history sail pass.
Local and retired harbour pilot
"Taff" Henry said it was a sight to
"I have seen hundreds of ships
enter the bay over the years but this is
an inspiring sight," Mr Henry said.
Defence Materiel Minister Jason
Clare and Managing Director of
Maritime, BAE Systems, Bill Saltzer,
were on hand to welcome the ship into
Port Philip Bay.
"It's a very capable warship," Mr
Clare said. "It's designed to be able
Largest addition arrives
to deploy a lot of troops over a long
distance in a very short period of time."
The first LHD hull's voyage from
Spain to Australia by heavy lift ship MV
Blue Marlin has taken about nine weeks.
The Dockwise-owned Blue Marlin
has travelled around 13,500 nautical
miles (around 20,000km) to deliver the
Dockwise senior project manager
Frank Berrens said he was proud the
company could assist in the delivery and
provide the hull to BAE Systems ready
to commence work on the next phase.
The LHD will be floated off Blue
Marlin and then towed into the BAE
facility at Williamstown.
The LHDs are bigger than
Australia's last aircraft carrier HMAS
When completed they will be
more than 230m long, 27.5m high and
weigh around 27,500 tonnes.
Each ship can carry more than 1100
personnel, 100 armoured vehicles and
12 helicopters and features a 40-bed
The LHD is expected to be
introduced into service in 2014 and
will be jointly crewed by members of
Navy, Army and Air Force.
Operational concepts, individual
training and facilities issues are
examples of the work being carried out
by the Joint Amphibious Capability
SAILORS from HMAS Cerberus, also
known as the "Cradle of the Navy",
turned out at Rosebud Pier to witness
the arrival of the first LHD hull to be
known as HMAS Canberra.
Despite the brisk weather, the wel-
come was warm from sailors who
joined in the excitement of the occasion.
CO Cerberus CAPT Katherine
Richards cleared her schedule to witness
the historic occasion and encouraged
many of her sailors to do so as well.
"This is a landmark occasion
for Navy and for our people," CAPT
"The future of Navy's capabil-
ity continues to grow from strength to
strength and it's important our people
see what that future looks like.
"Today we saw an amazing ship from
which our sailors will fight and win at sea.
"It's inspiring to be at Cerberus and
know that we're helping to train the
next generation of sailors that will be a
part of something as significant as the
Several members of the LHD's
future commissioning crew were pre-
sent and seized the chance for a look at
how their new ship was shaping up.
"The new LHDs are a significant
step in projecting force and will act as a
serious deterrent," CPO Mark Pahl said.
"Who wouldn't want to be on that
sort of ship?"
Sailors' strong turn out
AWESOME SIGHT: The
first LHD hull arrives in
Port Phillip Bay on MV
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
BIG SPACE: The LHDs will
be able to carry more than
100 armoured vehicles and
Photo: Pup Elliot
GOOD VIEW: Members of HMAS Cerberus watch the arrival of the LHD hull
at Port Phillip Bay.
Photo: LSIS Paul McCallum
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